4-Unit Play. #812. Take Gonzaga -6.5 over South Carolina (Saturday @ 6:05pm est)
We roll with Gonzaga here in the Final 4 and though South Carolina has done very well this year and we are very proud of them as a SEC team, it ends here. See, this is the first Final 4 for both of these schools. It was great to see Gonzaga get that monkey off their back and this team hardly wants it to end here. The loss to BYU at the end of the season was the best thing that could have happened to this team. They were motivated from teh beginning and it showed with blowout wins. Also note that Gonzaga wins games against teams outside the top 20 when they have too in a must win situation. That Xavier game was not an accident when they blew them out. This team knows how to defend they are thrilled to be here and they understand the huge opportunity they are presented with here. A chance at a National Title Game and to prove something to anyone that has ever doubted Gonzaga as a basketball program. And, South Carolina is in the way. This team has hit the wall year after year after year. So, this team will be highly prepared, has a fantastic coaching staff and will stop Thornwell as their gameplan will be geared for him. Gonzaga will make someone else beat them as they have some of the sharpest minds when it comes to their high quality defense – which is ranked #1 in the nation. This team is also top 10 in effective field goal percentage as well. Also, South Carolina is probably the worst shooting team to ever make it to the Final 4 as they are outside the top 290 in effective field goal percentage and outside the top 240 in 3 point field goals. Gonzaga is 16-4-2 ATS when facing a team with a winning percentage of greater than 60% and though other teams might have looked past South Carolina – Gonzaga will not because they too and their program too has never been here.
4-Unit Play. #813. Take Under 153.5 Oregon vs. North Carolina (Saturday @ 8:35pm est) – Wait on this line as it will keep going up.
We like the Under here as this is a high quality public fade as the last game off the board this evening in College Basketball. Everyone assumes that these high powered offenses will go over but we have it going under. Oregon understands that transition defense is key and they still have arguably the best player on the court in Dillon Brooks. This is a team that held Kansas to 60 points, Michigan to 68 points (a very difficult team to beat) and Rhode Island to 72 points. UNC is a top 10 offense, but they are also a top 20 defense. And, Oregon is also a top 20 defense as well. When UNC wants to crack down on defense they do a good job such as holding Miami to 53 points, Arkansas to 65 points, Kentucky to 73 points. Watch Oregon look to stifle UNC on defense and watch UNC have no other choice but to play quality defense as Oregon likes possession basketball against elite teams and that is likely what will happen here. The Under is 4-1 in the last 5 games the Ducks play the ACC and the Under is 9-4-1 when the Tarheels face a winning team with a winning percentage of 60% or more.
The Cinderella story of South Carolina featured perfect matchups for the Gamecocks. They ran through guard-heavy teams before facing a conference opponent, Florida, in the Elite Eight. The Zags will be a different story. They can offset any defensive adjustment South Carolina may make with a balanced inside-outside attack. They also have the ability to play at a fast or slow tempo. That’ll be a challenge for a South Carolina team that has exceeded their regular-season offensive and defensive standards. Grab the Zags to head to the title game and cover.